The longtime owner of New York's historic CBGB nightclub is launching a last-ditch effort to save the punk mecca - and he's asking the acts who got their big breaks there to help him.

Hilly Kristal is set to launch a month-long festival of punk icons in a bid to raise the funds he needs to save his club.

The CBGB founder and owner is hoping to host a 30-date festival of big-name acts this summer (05) and has invited Patti Smith and former TALKING HEADS star David Byrne among others to help him.

He says, "If the Beastie Boys are around, I think they'd play. Green Day came in one night and just played. Maybe they'd come back."

Kristal has been fighting to keep the club open for months after his landlord, the non-profit Bowery Resident's Committee, announced plans to double the rent for the space.

He adds, "They want me out."

CBGB became a punk mecca in the late 1970s and early 1980s when acts like the Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie made the venue their New York home.

17/05/2005 21:38